John Fox will lead the Bears one more time, tomorrow, in Minneapolis. These will be my final thoughts on the Fox tenure.
(1) People need to stop revisiting how and why Fox was hired. There was no conspiracy. Ownership did not inflict Fox upon Ryan Pace. It was a simple process.
- When the Bears hired Pace, Ernie Accorsi and ownership believed it would be wise to pair the young GM with a veteran head coach. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
- Accorsi had known John Fox for thirty years so the coach’s surprising availability was an ideal match.
- Accorsi and ownership asked Pace to meet Fox.
- Pace met him. For a long time.
- Pace decided to hire him. If Pace had called ownership and said no, Fox would not have been hired. Did ownership clearly want him to make this decision? Yes. Did Pace feel pressured to make it? I’ve been told by someone who really knows that Pace didn’t need pressure. He liked Fox a lot.
Everybody. Was. On. Board.
(2) Fox took over the worst defense in the history of the Chicago Bears. That’s not hyperbole. That’s fact. And today that unit is ranked 8th in the NFL, even while suffering a series of debilitating injuries and playing half the season with no pass rushers. There are a lot of factors why but the John Fox is leaving the Bears in far better shape than he found them.